Stranger Things: The First Shadow stars open up about Duffer Brothers' reaction to ‘mind-blowing’ production

Virgin Radio

4 Nov 2023, 14:14

Graham Norton with Louis McCartney and Patrick Vaill at Virgin Radio Studios

Credit: Virgin Radio

Stars of Stranger Things: The First Shadow, Patrick Vaill and Louis McCartney, have revealed how the original creators of the series reacted to seeing their universe come to life on the stage. 

The insanely popular Netflix series is taking to London’s West End at The Phoenix Theatre from the 14th December 2023 to 25th August 2024.

The First Shadow, set in 1959, is a prequel to the original sci-fi show, and focuses on a young Jim Hopper, Bob Newby and Joyce Maldonado, who are all desperately trying to leave their small town of Hawkins behind after graduation.

When a new student, Henry Creel, moves to Hawkins, his family quickly find their fresh start isn’t going as easily as they’d hope, and shadows of the past start to creep back in. The new Stranger Things adventure promises to take fans “to the beginning of the story,” and may even hold the key to the end too. 

Patrick plays Dr Brenner, alongside Louis who will play Henry Creel. Dr Brenner experimented on children with special abilities in a lab and Henry was one of these children but Brenner discovered he had dangerous abilities.

While on The Graham Norton Radio Show with Waitrose, both Louis and Patrick revealed how presenting the play to Duffer Brothers Matt and Ross was, and luckily, there was applause all round. 

The Hope Street star explained: “There were all smiles. They absolutely loved it. It was a big hit in the tiny…bunker of a rehearsal room, which was very unforgiving. But it was good because it's brutal, and really fits.”

Recreating such a physically demanding and visual series such as Stranger Things was quite a task for the cast and crew, with all of the elements of Upside Down and Mind Flayers to consider. 

However, according to Patrick, the production crew “succeeded” in reimagining the world of Hawkins for the stage.  

“It's amazing,” he teased. “In a film or TV series, this would be done in green screen, and as the actors, you would be imagining it, and then you'd be put in post-production later. But here, when you're going to be in the same room with these things that happen, and you're living and breathing among them,  it’s a very, very jarring experience, even to rehearse it.”

Louis added: “It's mind blowing, because you've seen it come to life. And we have a fantastic cast, the intrepid trio, Joyce and Bob and Hopper. The fans are there and they're waiting for us and we are looking to deliver and I think we are, it's just absolutely exciting.”

Stranger Things: The First Shadow begins at The Phoenix Theatre in London on 14th December and runs on 25th August 2024. 

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